Saturday, 23 April 2016

ECC 2 - Macclesfield C 3 (Wed 17th Feb!)

Scores on the doors:
Paul Dasher Bamford 0 Marc Jouannet 1
Edwin The Fortunate 1 Mick Renshaw 0
Ian The Draw Tiger 1/2 Dave Mallinson 1/2
Keith The Draw Lion 1/2 Tom RObson 1/2
Geoff The Draw Not 0 David Styles 1
ECC 2 Macc C 3
 Early on we looked in a tight spot. Paul was doing okay on board 1 , as  
was I on board 2, with Ian and Keith looking slightly down on boards 3 and  
4 with Geoff even on board 5, it looked like a draw was probably. 
On Paul's board... I succumbed to the "Sniper - 
Botvinnik variation" - yes, that old chestnut.  My opponent  had used 4 
minutes on the clock and I had used an hour!  He knew the system well and 
has studied videos etc on it but told me afterwards that I was actually 
coming up with a fairly main line defence and was in with a shout, before I 
made a mistake..... 
After Paul succombed and with Geoff following shorlty after the outlook looked  
bleak, and there might be a possible whitewash on the cards. However Ian  
rallied to get in a drawing position and Keith grabbed a knight with ease  
taking a leading position and with me in the ascendancy we might get  
I arrived late and was 5 mins down, not to worry I thought, then I saw my  
opponents - grade 128. Oh dear, I decided to play as tight as I could,  
defend and try to not make any mistakes. I played my current favoured "The  
Queens Sardines Gambit", where I start with a Queens Gambit then simply  
put as many pieces as I can into the square marked c1, c4, f1, f4. This  
has been working well this season. The game plodded on in a very dour  
manner, with my opponent adopting a Kings Indian Defence and slowly the  
game unfolded with the words of Mithrandir playing in my head at the exit  
of Moria, "Though shalt not pass!". I avoided any exchange of pieces  
keeping my pawn line intact and finally succumbed as my opponent swapped  
white bishops on move 12. By this time my knights had moved hobbit-like  
across to the right of the board and with little option to move his  
pieces, I sensed a building momentum. I raised my key and started to roll  
back the lid on my sardine tin (Farewell Tolkein, back to the tinned fish  
metaphor), exposing both my king and his king, but to my advantage I could  
quickly draft in support with my queen, rooks and remaining bishop. Things  
were looking good. He was on the toast ready to go under the grill, when  
in a move the Marquis De Laissez-Faire would have been proud of I gave my  
queen away.
I was down, 2 rooks and a knight versus queen, rook and knight and equal  
pawns. I was surely done for! I played on hoping my position was strong  
enough and I might get a lucky fork to grab his queen. His prowess came to  
the fore and before long he had pinned my knight and was in a simple  
winning position. All I had left was subterfuge, I played my rook along  
the back row to the h file, it was checkmate if I had 2 consecutive moves,  
oh for such luxury! However, it worked, it diverted his attention, and  
instead of swiping my knight and rolling on to a comfortable win, he  
pushed his pawn to give him a way out of the check mate (that would never  
have been if he simply took my knight). I couldn't believe it, I had a  
chance, I pushed the rook to check, his king had only one move and there  
was now a serious danger he would either lose his bishop or queen and we  
could be level on points, but with me in a commanding position. He moved  
his king to the back row and I saw my chance, another shrewd check  
avoiding the obvious swap meant it was mate in one or two moves. My  
sardines on toast were done!
So I somehow managed to win and with Ian forcing/agreeing a draw  
for the team , the hope was Keith could press home his advantage and  
salvage a draw for the C team. In a tense finish and down on time, Keith  
managed a hard fought draw. Alas a 2-3 loss to Macc C  

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